Surprise twist at the end of Mamadou Sakho's doping case
Proceedings against Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho over an anti-doping violation have been dismissed, the independent UEFA control, ethics and disciplinary body has announced.
The France international tested positive for a 'fat burner' after the Reds' Europa League tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford in March, and served an initial 30-day suspension.
But that initial ban was not extended as UEFA launched an investigation into whether the substance Sakho took should even be on the banned list - and the governing body announced on Friday the case was dismissed.
A UEFA statement read: "The independent UEFA control, ethics and disciplinary Body (CEDB) met in Paris and has reached a decision relating to the proceedings instigated against Liverpool player Mamadou Sakho, following the Europa League round of 16 second-leg match between Manchester United and Liverpool 1-1), played on 17 March 2016.
"The proceedings against Mr Sakho related to a violation of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations after the player failed a doping test at the above-mentioned match.
"Following a hearing with the lawyers of the player and experts of the WADA-accredited laboratories on this case, the CEDB has decided to dismiss the case."
Sakho's interim ban meant he missed both the Europa League final defeat to Sevilla and the chance to be selected for France's Euro 2016 squad.
However, throughout the process the centre-back maintained he had not done anything wrong and that stance has now been justified.
"I am happy that this is finally over. It's been a difficult time for me but I knew I had done nothing wrong," he said in a statement.
"I am looking forward to getting back in the team and playing again."
Liverpool expressed their satisfaction the saga was now over.
"Liverpool Football Club welcomes today's decision from UEFA to dismiss the case against Mamadou Sakho, confirming that he did not commit any doping violation," a statement read.
"We are pleased for Mamadou that he can now resume his playing career."